Project Triage: What to Do When Everything Hits the Fan - Eryn O'Neil

            Eryn O'Neil

“Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” We spend a lot of time talking about best practices: the ways we should run our projects and write our software so that everything turns out as well as possible. But when you add human beings to the mix -- whether they’re coworkers, clients, or just, well, you and I -- something will eventually go wrong. As a technical lead in an interactive agency, I have worked on many projects of all shapes and sizes, with many different clients. I've launched online promotions giving away prizes worth tens of thousands of dollars (and, yes, messed some up), and high-stakes eCommerce solutions tied directly to point of sale systems (and, thankfully, did not mess them up -- though not for any lack of unexpected surprises during planning and development!). Crisis is inevitable, but it doesn't have to take down your project. The only thing that matters when everything hits the fan is what you do next. Using case studies from the interactive agency world (where no two clients are ever the same), we'll talk about methods for triage, what to do when you feel a project start to get on shaky ground, and ways to ensure everyone comes through to the other side in one piece.